IC Compiler II: Block-level Implementation


Learn to use IC Compiler II to run a complete place and route flow on block-level designs. The flow covered within the workshop addresses the main design closure steps for multi-voltage designs, with multi-corner multi-mode (MCMM) timing and power challenges. All topics are accompanied by very engaging hands-on lab exercises.

Day 1 topics include: ICC II GUI usage; objects, blocks and application options; block-level floorplanning; placement and incremental post-placement optimizations.

Day 2 topics include: Library preparation for NDMs, the new reference library model required for IC Compiler II; IC Compiler II's re-architected multi-corner/mode/scenario design setup process; classic clock tree synthesis as well as "concurrent clock-and-data" optimization.

Day 3 topics include: More details on CTS setup; signal routing and post-route optimization; functional and timing ECOs, signoff DRC and metal filling using IC Validator.


At the end of this workshop you should be able to use IC Compiler II to:

  • Use the GUI to analyze the layout during the various design phases
  • Use the Task Assistant to execute floorplanning steps as well as the place and route flow
  • Create NDM reference libraries for use in ICC II, both for standard and macro cells, and for storing technology data (technology file, placement site and routing layer settings, RC TLU+ data)
  • Create a block-level floorplan including automatic voltage area shaping and placement, automatic macro placement and advanced connectivity analysis, intro to pattern-based power network synthesis, macro keepouts and placement blockages, and congestion map analysis
  • Perform and debug design setup to create an initial design which is ready for placement; this includes loading the netlist, floorplan- and scan-DEF files; Loading multi-voltage design data: UPF and voltage-area definitions; creating an NDM design library, and applying common timing and optimization controls
  • Create modes, corners and scenarios for IC Compiler II’s rearchitected MCMM environment
  • Use timing derate as well as AOCV and POCV derating
  • Perform concurrent MCMM standard cell placement and related optimizations to minimize timing violations, congestion, and power; Includes items such as leakage, dynamic and total power set up, layer optimization, spare cell handling, congestion-driven restructuring, global route layer binning, move bounds, path optimization, as well as embedded ICG optimization.
  • Perform setup for clock tree synthesis and data-path optimization (define exceptions, targets, non-default routing rules, etc.)
  • Execute the "classic" CTS and optimization flow, or the concurrent clock-and-data (CCD) flow; global and local skew optimization is covered
  • Analyze clock tree and timing results post-CTS using the GUI and text reports
  • Perform routing setup to control DRC fixing, via optimization, antenna fixing, and crosstalk reduction
  • Route critical, secondary PG and signal nets and perform post-route optimization including post-CTS, CCD, power and crosstalk optimization
  • Analyze and fix physical DRC violations, using IC Validator from within IC Compiler II (In-Design Flow)
  • Insert standard cell metal fillers and perform metal filling using IC Validator
  • Perform functional unconstrained and freeze-silicon ECOs
  • Generate all required output files for signoff extraction and static timing analysis
  • Perform timing ECOs in combination with Primetime Physical Guidance

Audience Profile

ASIC, back-end, or layout designers who will be using IC Compiler II to perform placement, CTS, and routing on block-level designs


While prior knowledge of IC Compiler II or IC Compiler is not needed, knowledge of general (non-tool specific) standard cell-based placement, CTS, and routing concepts and terms is helpful.

An understanding of basic digital ASIC design concepts is assumed, including:

  •  Combinational and sequential logic functionality
  • Setup and hold timing

Course Outline

Day 1

  • Workshop Introduction and GUI use (Lecture + Lab)
  • Objects, Blocks and App Options (Lecture only)
  • Floorplanning (Lecture + Lab)
  • Placement and Optimization (Lecture + Lab)

Day 2

  • NDM Reference Libraries (Lecture Only)
  • Design Setup (Lecture + Lab)
  • Timing Setup (Lecture + Lab)
  • Running CTS (Lecture + Lab)

Day 3

  • Setting Up CTS (Lecture + Lab)
  • Routing and Optimization (Lecture + Lab)
  • Signoff (Lecture + Lab)
  • Customer Support (Lecture only)

Synopsys Tools Used

  • IC Compiler II - Version 2016.03-SP5
  • IC Validator - Version 2016.06-SP2-4